A “Promised Land” Success

In a few weeks we will gather together for the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Conference in response to an invitation born of our theme “Going Deeper: Trusting in Sacred Conversation.”

Like the disciples in Luke 5:1-11, we will be called to face ourselves and trust one another in embracing a quest for transformation in our lives, in the lives of our churches, our communities, our conference and beyond… We will be called to trust God in this process as we address the reality of racism, a disease that affects all of our lives.

In the past months, we have been bombarded by news of almost weekly tragedies born of racism in its many places and its many forms.

Many of us have a heritage of families coming to this country seeking to live in a land of promise – a land of freedom, hope and respect for all peoples. My paternal grandfather came to the United States from Norway when he was in his late teens. My maternal grandmother came here from Germany when she was only 16.

They came on ships of hope; but others arrived on ships of pain like La Amistad, a schooner whose name means “Friendship”. I cannot imagine what their dreams were or even if they dared to have them.

In 1975, a migration began when a people  known as Hmong left war-ravaged Laos and many wound up in Minnesota. Today, there are 66,000 Hmong living in the Twin Cities metro area. They are the largest urban population of their people in this country. In November 2015, they will celebrate the 40th anniversary of that migration.

This story reminds me of the words from a song by American balladeer Willie Nelson: “There’s room for everyone in the Promised Land.” May it someday be so.


Submitted by,

Rev. Dick Fylling, Annual Meeting Planning Work Group